Category Archives for "Public Records Reviews"

US Search Review, 2021

  • Price
  • Accuracy
  • Support
  • Interface/Features


Well established with a good track record, US Search is a reliable, if somewhat stodgy, middle of the road site.

User Rating 4.5 (2 votes)


  • Well-established company
  • Low price for basic searches


  • Pricey for more detailed searches


  • Hasn’t kept pace with newer tech

Who is US Search?

Bellevue, Washington-based US Search was one of the first companies to provide information about people online and still occupies the comfortable niche it first carved out in 1994. From the beginning, US Search has been a reliable way to locate long, lost childhood friends or to verify your new neighbor’s backstory about having just relocated after living on a pineapple plantation in Hawaii for the last decade. From the start, this has been a company that seems to make certain that the information it does provide is both accurate and the most current available.

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US Search Pricing and Available Plans

You can get some peace of mind about that new neighbor or old flame for the modest a la carte price of $2.45 for the basic one-off “People Search” report that provides full name and any aliases, age, address and address history, publicly listed phone numbers plus relatives and associates. For a monthly fee of just under $20, you can perform an unlimited number of basic searches (minus relatives, but with social network info) with the company’s “OmniSearch” subscription. More detailed info, like that provided by the company’s top of the line “Background Check” comes at nearly $40 but adds real meat to the report including criminal records, social network information and financial information such bankruptcies and tax liens.

In between is the 1-State Criminal Records search for around $15.

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How to Use US Search?

Maybe not as cutting edge as it was when it pioneered the concept of supplying people’s info online, US Search remains a solid entry in the field, well-suited for those with an occasional need to search out basic contact information in order to reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with over the years or double check a new acquaintance’s backstory.


Although the signup process is fairly straightforward, it wasn’t immediately clear I was signing up for the monthly OmniSearch subscription and that if I wanted to dig deeper into any subject’s info I was going to have to pay quite a bit more to do it.

People Search/OmniSearch

This is where US Search really earns its keep. If you’re only occasionally in need of locating a shoestring relative’s phone number or feel moved to contact your best bud from PS 23, a one-time People Search is the way to go. For less than $3 you’ll get an extensive list of possible matches, allowing you to focus your efforts on the most likely subject without paying for multiple look-ups.

Both include an address history check and list of relatives/associates which can be a real help in helping narrow down where you need to look or help you connect with that hard to locate someone through a third party.

An OmniSearch monthly membership gives you access to the same basic info for an unlimited number of searches with the flexibility to opt-out whenever you please, an arrangement perfect for putting together contact lists for a class reunion or similar events. Be aware, thought, that you’ll be charged automatically each month unless you cancel your subscription online or, more problematically, by phone. US Search’s customer service phone lines are open Monday through Friday only from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time (3 hours behind the east coast and some 7 ahead of Alaska and Hawaii.

One-State Criminal Check/Background Check

US Search’s pricier options provide more info, but, in many cases, from fewer sources. For instance, the company has access to marriage and divorce records from only 11 states and criminal records from 43 (excluding Colorado, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, North and South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming). So, if you want to check if that great new dude/dudette you just met at the Flax Festival is, in fact, a serial polygamist/bigamist chances are you’ll need to go another route. Likewise if you’d feel better about your second cousin’s nephew from Wyoming with the odd face tattoo dating your daughter after a criminal records check.

The 1-State Criminal Check is a check of the records available from a selected state for specific person. If that person has a criminal record in another state it will not appear in the 1-State Criminal Check.

The full on, full-priced Background Check proves all available criminal and financial info in the form of property ownership details and info about civil judgments, bankruptcies and tax liens. In order to limit identify theft, US Search does not provide credit histories, dates of birth and other sensitive information.

Reverse phone lookup

US search can also tell you who belongs to that phone number that keeps mysteriously appearing on your caller id, a family member’s phone or on a phone bill.

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How Good is US Search Data?

As a testament to US Search’s accuracy, it remembered more about me than I did, digging up an address from two decades ago I lived at for about a year and a half. Even better when I did a little digging on a neighbor, not only did it corroborate facts I was already certain of, it filled in a few blanks besides and as an added bonus displayed a satellite photo of what I couldn’t see clearly over the fence from next door. And when curiosity got the better of me it located the current location of my first crush. Try as I might, I could not unearth any criminals or deadbeats in my circle of friends and acquaintances, confirming I must be running in the right circles.

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How do I Cancel US Search?

Pretty standard stuff here. To cancel, go to your account settings, scroll to “membership info” and choose “cancel service.” Or you can contact customer support by phone M-F from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PACIFIC TIME, or Email: Service terminates at end of current billing term.

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US Search Final Thoughts

I’d say this is a perfect site for the occasional, largely benign searches or to follow up on strong evidence that someone is not who or what they are pretending to be. US Search could be problematic if you’re planning on using it frequently for your business or for more specific checks of employment or education histories.

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eVerify Review, 2021

  • Price
  • Accuracy
  • Support
  • Interface/Features


eVerify is singularly suited for deep research on a single subject and would be an expensive choice for someone looking to compile contact info on Riverdale High’s Class of 1979.

User Rating 0 (0 votes)


  • Lots of info.


  • TMI – for casual searches
  • Funky web design
  • Pricey and cumbersome for multiple searches


  • Notable problems with accuracy.

Who is eVerify?

A background check on this background check website turns up very little information other than a Boston, Mass., mailing address. Further complicating matters is the fact the employment verification website shared by the Department of Homeland Security and US Citizenship and Immigration Service has a nearly identical name: E-Verify. (Make sure you’re using the right one!)

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eVerify Pricing and Available Plans

eVerify’s $19.95 Instant One Time Report could be the best bargain out there in terms of the amount of raw data it dredges up.

The $2.95 5-Day Trial, on the other hand, is kind of a tease, promising a lot, but frequently turning up just a long list of “no reports found” responses, which are suddenly filled with scads of data when you pay the $19.95 to tack on a “premium search.”

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How to Use eVerify?

Sign up

Is relatively quick and painless as is cancelling the service.

Ease of use

Not so much. Not only does this site have a name dangerously similar the government site it also shares the same kind of red-white-and-blue, stars-and-stripes-forever themed web design. And it can be difficult to separate search results from Great New Offers! However, once mastered the site could be very useful for professionals tasked with meticulously checking out every single detail of a subject’s past and present associates, dealings, finances and history.

Standard search

eVerify requires more patience to negotiate than many other sites. General searches turn up so many possible matches that it can be very difficult to home in on the one person you’re checking up on (which is probably why there’s an instructional video prominently displayed on the site’s homepage). You’re best off narrowing down your search however you can beforehand (like knowing middle initials, relatives or narrowing the geographic scope of your search as much as possible.)

The standard search offers a big bonus when it comes to checking out the bad guys in your neighborhood, however. A list of sex offenders, complete with mug shots when available, living in the vicinity of the person you’ve searched for is automatically tacked onto the end of eVerify’s standard search.

Premium search

eVerify’s premium search seems better suited to professionals such as investigative reporters or private eyes than it is to soccer dads checking up on carpool drivers. This search returns long lists of financial information as well as sizable numbers of the subject’s associates and the current owners of homes they once owned.

If you’re looking to talk to someone’s former neighbors, employers and need a fairly detailed snapshot of their past and current financial situation, you’ll get it here. The premium search is so detailed it brings up the all subject’s neighbors’ phone numbers which is, somehow, a little creepy.

Social media/emails

As much information as this site returns on friends, relatives and associates, it’s very weak where social media and emails are concerned, frequently returning nothing at or results that are very clearly incorrect.

Customer service

Online – all the time. Call center – 10 a.m.-8p.m. EST, M-F.

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How Good is eVerify Data?

A premium search of my neighbor turned up more info (38 pages) than I could ever possibly want, need or have the time to carefully read. An attempt to locate an old college buddy with a standard search, on the other hand, was an exercise in frustration – pretty much the only result was a list of hundreds of names of possible matches without much to help further narrow down the list. While thorough in some respects, the site returned some clearly inaccurate results, especially in the area of social media, attributing accounts in Texas to a friend located clear across the country who I know has never done business in the Lone Star State. Even more disturbing were the 14 non-existent criminal offenses that showed up when I ordered up a report on myself (which also included relatives who aren’t and, although I often have trouble nailing two boards together, listed my occupation as craftsman).

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How do I Cancel eVerify?

Cancellation for eVerify is a pretty straightforward process. Email them at or hit them up on the phone at (800) 791-1427. That’s it! Just keep in mind that fees are billed monthly, so there are no refunds for any unused portion of the month you’ve got left.

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eVerify Final Thoughts

eVerify is just not for me. I can’t imagine needing this much info on anyone unless I was looking for a Russian mole deep inside my Silicon Valley server farm. eVerify provides far too much info, too much of it inaccurate, but will garner a good market among those looking to identify convicted sex offenders and other creeps in the neighborhood.

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PeopleFinders Review, 2021

  • Price
  • Accuracy
  • Support
  • Interface/features


PeopleFinders is a data service that allows you to simply and effectively search people with confidentiality and peace of mind. It is a cost-effective option that doesn’t skimp on quality or quantity of information and gives you the added bonus of unlimited background searches.

User Rating 3.43 (14 votes)


  • The site was very easy to use and provided an easily understandable collection of data.
  • Considering other companies I looked into, the price for what you receive is fantastic.
  • The data returned proved to be very accurate and, though not perfect, it was better than I expected from an online aggregation of information.
  • Cancellation was simple and painless.


  • When searching myself, I found quite a few ‘relatives’ that were so distant that they would not even know who I was; a wife of a cousin of my brother’s first wife, for example. It was a stretch to label them as relatives.


  • Some of the relatives listed provided phone numbers and addresses despite having been deceased for over 25 years.

Recently, my teenage daughter was invited to join her best friend and her family on a weekend getaway up north to the family cabin. They talked about skiing and sledding and it all sounded really fun but I was still a little uneasy because I wasn’t that familiar with the family. I decided to put my fears to rest and just do a little searching to make sure that the parents were good people. Truth be told, we don’t know many people in that area and wanted to make sure that the surrounding neighborhood was safe, too.
I looked online for a background search company and was presented with a host of options. I dug a little deeper to find the highest rated research company and eventually landed on PeopleFinders.

Who is PeopleFinders?

Once I decided which company was most attractive, I looked a little more into who they are. PeopleFinders has been in business since 1998 and is stationed in Sacramento, California. They’re considered a DaaS, or a “Data as a Service”, company and the amount of information they have access to is a bit scary but can be very helpful. Their query of information goes back 40+ years, which is going to ensure very thorough results. I was very impressed to see that they have received a plethora of awards including, but not limited to, the “Top 10 Best: Top 10 People Search Sites” and the 3 from the WMA for “Best of Industry; Information Services Standard of Excellence; and Standard of Excellence Award”

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PeopleFinders Pricing and Available Plans

With PeopleFinders, I found the interface much more user-friendly than the others and it allowed me to do a simple search to get what I needed. I was a bit confused at first because it offered a 3 day trial for $2.95 with a $29.95 monthly charge if you kept the service but below that offer it also offered $7.95 for the report and trial together. Upon digging deeper, I realized that the $2.95 price was what would be charged if you ended up canceling within the 3 days. Otherwise, you’d pay the $7.95 each month you continued the service.

In my opinion, that was a steal of a price so I continued. I noticed at the checkout that there was a spot for a promo code so I did a quick google search to see if I could find something to sweeten the deal and found a 50% off deal but upon continuing through the link it turned out to be more expensive than the price I had already. However, deals change quite often so you might be able to find a discount if you look.

I would caution you to pay attention when you sign up because it offers something called “Rewards” which allows you to do $1 background checks, assisted searches, reports on yourself, genealogy census searches, etc. It says in the fine print that you’ll be charged $24.99/mo for this service and if you aren’t careful you could click right through this without looking. I chose to not go this route and pressed the link below that says, “No thanks, complete my order without signing up for rewards”.

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How to Use PeopleFinders?

The simplicity of the process was very nice. All it required was for me to enter my friend’s first and last name and the city and it returned a few results with the information I needed to choose the correct person. I entered my financial information and submitted the form and within moments I was all set.

I was absolutely astonished by the wealth of information presented to me as soon as I ran the report. There were no less than 50 relatives, all listing their addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and maiden name. No doubt, the long list included cousins and distant family. It listed her property ownership information and gave not only the location but also that she owned multiple properties. It showed no evictions or foreclosures, which showed me that she has maintained good financial standing.

One thing that surprised me was that it gave me a list of their neighbors with the address and phone number. If I wanted to, I could have easily called the neighbors and asked them for their opinion of her. There are situations where I may have done that but in this instance I did not. Further down, it listed no criminal records, liens, judgements, bankruptcies etc. Essentially, it showed that they both had a clean slate, which gave me the reassurance I needed to trust her.

Because I’m a cynic and I didn’t find any criminal records on the report I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t just left empty so I decided to do a little investigating. I looked up a well known criminal to see if he had anything listed and sure enough he had his criminal record posted on the background check along with a foreclosure. This bolstered my confidence in the accuracy of the information I was being given.

Taking it one step further, I wanted to look into the neighborhood surrounding the cabin. With the premium membership, it was as simple as plugging in the address!

It immediately brought up a list of current and previous owners as well as allowed me to see who the neighbors were.

I could do background checks on the neighbors that were closest if I wanted to. That, paired with a local sex-offender search, made me feel so much better about sending my daughter off for the weekend. I was confident that the people she was going with and the people she may meet there were all good people and it was very unlikely that she would find herself in a bad situation.

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How Good is PeopleFinders Data?

The membership came with unlimited background checks so I looked myself up. I was glad to see that the information presented was about 95% correct. I continued, almost with a guilty pleasure, looking up family members and other people I knew, just for fun.
Upon returning to the home page I noticed that I was offered a free reverse phone number look-up, so I gave that a shot. I began with myself and it showed me my address as well as who had previously owned my phone number. I ended up looking up a few phone numbers of people I had screened calls from because they had not been programmed into my phone. As it turns out, they were old friends and I was able to reconnect with them for drinks and to catch up. Had I not had this service I would have never known that they had called me and I would have missed this opportunity.

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How do I Cancel PeopleFinders?

It was actually rather difficult to make the decision to cancel my subscription to this site. I found myself intrigued by the endless background checks but eventually had to resign my curiosity and fight the urge to search everyone I knew. Still, some things are better left unknown. When I cut myself off, the cancellation process was very simple. There was a basic form to with a few questions asking you to explain why you were canceling your subscription.

Just as you were about to complete the cancellation, it offered you a discounted rate of $17.95 for continuing your subscription. As nice of a price as this was,I decided not to go ahead with this option.

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PeopleFinders Final Thoughts

Finding myself in a situation where I need to trust someone I don’t know with my precious daughter is a bit terrifying but I was very glad that PeopleFinders was able to give me the peace of mind that I needed. Their information was thorough and reliable and it helped me make an informed decision that I felt good about. Not finding much was the best result I could have hoped for.

The last thing I wanted to find was that she had some sort of criminal records for theft. However, had there been some mark on their records I would have definitely been glad I looked. Thankfully, PeopleFinders offers a level of quality and quantity of information that just doesn’t seem to be available other places.

I really didn’t find anything wrong with the site as a whole – I would definitely use it again if a situation arose that I needed to; Perhaps she starts dating!

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